The Art of William Woodward

Washington Post – Restaurant Nudes Left Undraped…

“Restaurant Nudes Left Undraped by Va. Authorities”

Thomas Grubisich for the Washington Post (August 1980)

Selected quotes:

The piece de resistance of the Palm Terrace in the new Clyde’s restaurant at Tysons Corner is not anything on the menu, but nine murals featuring nude men and women engaged in various outdoor sports not sanctioned by the Amateur Athletic Union.

When a senior Richmond official of the Alcoholic Beverage Control Commission, the agency that enforces rules governing food, drink and decor in Virginia’s restaurants, saw photographs of the murals, he was less than pleased. … “It appears to me (they are) suggestive and show parts of the body prohibited by (ABC) regulations.”

But White’s superiors felt otherwise. The 78-foot-long murals, executed by William Woodward … received the state’s imprimatur and Clyde’s got its license.

“It pleased us very much they were adjudged to be art,” said Clyde’s manager Mark Walsh … “What we wanted, and what was accomplished was a mural depicting fun, frivolity and outdoor playmaking. There is also a good deal of fantasy.”

If White had prevailed, Clyde’s might have been forced to take down the murals or have artist Woodward clothe his revelers, perhaps in hiking outfits. But an ABC spokesman said a group of high officials “all agreed it was art and in no way offensive.”

A. Allen Zachary Jr., director of the division of licensing said in a memo: “I suggest that those who do not like the decorations can dine at other restaurants just like they might do if the food is not to their liking.”

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